Mon. March 25, 2013: Sprouting Seeds and Scheduling Dilemmas

Monday, March 25, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Friday was a difficult day, and, frankly, there were times when I just wanted to give up. But I made it through. This week will be tough, but, hopefully, I will get through this, too.

I don’t remember much about Friday, except it was a blur of stress and pain.

Friday night’s rehearsal was a nice break, though. The actors are doing well, although they still have work to do. Friday was the painful rehearsal for them, where they realized that, in spite of all the good work they’ve done, there’s still more to do.

Came home late, exhausted.

Up early on Saturday. I filled in as the set-up person for the Tomorrow’s Writers Today program for teens at Barnstable Intermediate School, set up by The Cape Cod Writers Center. The people at the school were great, the teachers were great, and the kids were great. Terrific all around. At 10 AM, I handed off the program to the Executive Director.

The only thing about the experience that sent a chill through me was the postings, in every classroom, on “lockdown procedures” and “safe spots” set aside in every room. This is what it’s come to? It’s heartbreaking.

Came home, set up for the online Query Clinic, ran that.

Dealt with scheduling issues for the show. MURDER “SEALS” THE DEAL is sold out, and we want to add a second show, but it’s getting it scheduled with the company that’s a challenge.

Received the grant money for SEVEN OF SWORDS, my other play, which just made me feel all warm and fuzzy. It’s not the amount (which was small, but fair), it’s the fact that we were respected enough, as playwrights, to be awarded money for our work.

Sunday was supposed to be my day off, and one that was badly needed, but it didn’t work out that way. Dealt with show stuff nearly all day, searched for stuff I needed for various projects, which led to reorganizing the storage unit over the garage. It looks great and I can get at everything, but I still didn’t get my hands on what I needed. So tired, I was shaking and dizzy.

The mesclun greens, bok choy, buttercrunch lettuce, speckled lettuce, and radish seeds all sprouted over the weekend. Very exciting! The tulips I planted in pots and overwintered in the garage are also blooming — lovely!

I have a meeting in Brewster this morning, and then have to deal with show stuff and the book. I’m supposed to have another meeting this evening, but there’s no way I can do all of it.

Didn’t get enough work on the book done, which upsets me. Worked with students, sent out a lot of pitches.

Have a blasting migraine, but have to work through it.

Devon

Published in: on March 25, 2013 at 7:12 am  Comments (3)  
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Friday, March 22, 2013: Yet More Snow

Friday, March 22, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Snowy and cold

I’m not quite sure how I’m getting to my morning seminar or if it’s delayed with six inches of snow. I’m about to go out and shovel.

Yesterday was tough. You know when you’ve burst into tears twice before 8:30 in the morning, it’s going to be a difficult day. But we all have tough days; you do what you can to get through them.

I survived the day, managed to get out a few pitches and work with students, and do the final prep for tomorrow’s Query Clinic — so yes, sign up! it’ll be a lot of fun, and help get you over the Passive Voice Boring Query Syndrome and also give you ideas to write engaging queries in the future. Information on sign up here.

I’m supposed to be at a meeting this morning, then it’s home for a few hours, then it’s off to rehearsal.

It looks really pretty out there — let’s hope it’s not tough to shovel.

Have a great weekend, all!

Devon

Published in: on March 22, 2013 at 5:45 am  Comments (2)  
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Thurs. March 19, 2013: Head Down Working

Thursday, March 21, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Frost on the ground this morning, so a good thing my Ostara planting was inside yesterday! I talk about it in the entry on Gratitude and Growth.

I also have a post up (in my Annabel Aidan persona), entitled “Are You Happy?” on The Writers Vineyard.

We’re coming up on your last chance to join Saturday’s Query Clinic — line-by-line support on you query letters, and ways to make them stronger moving forward! Information here.

Finished Chapter Six and wrote Chapter Seven of the new book yesterday, which was a pretty decent day’s work. Sent out some pitches, and landed an assignment, so I will tackle that today. Worked with students — I’m really proud of them right now. Worked on the contest entries I’m judging.

Feel very burned out. I’ve got some difficult correspondence to tackle today, plus the writing, and I’m trying to rev up for it. Even though it’s cold, and we’re supposed to get another storm, maybe I’ll do some work in the yard, and that will help.

Devon

Wed. March 20, 2013: Spring Equinox Lifts Spirits

Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold
Spring Equinox

The angle of the sun is lovely, but it is c-c-cold! I’ll have to do some planting today (inside) in honor of the holiday! I’m looking forward to the ceremony!

Lost far too much of my workday dealing with the asshats at Verizon Wireless. The people in the office are both incompetent and take pleasure in being cruel. That’s why there are regulators, which is where this gets bumped to next. The paperwork will be a pain in the butt, but it will be worth it in the end. Corporations cannot be allowed to walk all over people, and the personnel within those corporations must be held personally and individually accountable when they commit illegal acts and hide behind “company policy”.

On the upside, I wrote nearly a whole chapter on the new book, did some marketing, wrote some pitches, worked with students, polished Saturday’s Query Clinic, and dealt with the press release special. I did some work for Confidential Job #1, got the payment stuff with them sorted out (like I said yesterday, they are one of the reliable clients), worked on the contest I’m judging, and started putting together my script coverage samples. I’ve done script coverage, but mostly for smaller producers. I need to take the samples and convert them into the more standard format, so I’ve got those coverage samples ready when I pitch for that type of job. I enjoy reading and evaluating scripts, and I can do so from a budget perspective as well as a creative one, so I’m going to start seeking out those jobs.

I’m going to help out the Writers Center on Saturday morning, setting up and checking in students for Tomorrow’s Writers Today (I’m not teaching, just helping them set up).

I cancelled rehearsal last night due to weather — I didn’t want anyone out driving in that.

Today, it’s pedal to the metal, focusing mostly on the book, but also on a few articles and other things.

Back to the page!

Devon

Last days to sign up for the Query Clinic — line-by-line support on your queries. Information here.

Tues. March 19, 2013: Another Storm

Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Snowing and sleeting

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What can I say? I’m in a press release writing mood today! 😉

Yet another storm, on a rehearsal day. I’m really frustrated. If this keeps up, I’m going to have to call off tonight’s rehearsal — there’s no way I can expect people to be on the road in this weather.

Rue Allyn is my guest over on Biblio Paradise, talking about the muse. Stop by and visit! I also updated the “About” page, in case passers-by want to book a slot.

You can still sign up for Saturday’s Query Clinic and get line-by-line support on your query letters. Information here.

I worked with students, got out some pitches,wrote and sent out two articles, but most of yesterday was about finishing up the proposal for my agent. I got it off to her late in the afternoon. I’m still not dancing with joy about the synopsis, but the rest of it, I think, is strong, especially the first three chapters. The name change I was forced to do over the weekend actually opened the way for something better, including a catchier title. I’m happy that I got it done (on time) and excited by the possibilities.

Today, I get back to writing the actual book. It’s such an icky day out, it should be a good day to stay home and write. I also have to set up the tracking sheets for the book, so I can keep the necessary details consistent, and start setting up what will evolve into the Series Bible for this book.

Yes, I use the techniques I teach — otherwise, why bother?

Confidential Job sent me my next assignments. I’m still waiting to hear what the heck is going on with February’s invoice! They’re usually meticulous about paying promptly so I don’t know what’s going on, and I feel like I’m getting the runaround.

Plenty to work on, so I better just put my head down and do it.

Devon

Mon. March 18, 2013: Take a Breath, Mercury is Direct

Monday, March 18, 2013
Waxing Moon
Mercury Direct (as of yesterday)
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

What a relief to have Mercury go direct. This is one of the worst Merc Rets I remember in the last five or six years. Coupled with the Saturn Retrograde, it nearly killed me. I hope I can start getting things back on track, although, according to the astrologer, the upcoming full moon is going to be tough, too. Hopefully, I can mitigate that, and keep it from happening, instead of getting so worried that I make it happen.

Rehearsal Friday night went well. We are getting there, and let’s hope we just keep improving and peak on the show date.

Worked with students. I’m in a good rhythm with two of them and the third had a positive breakthrough and is back on track, so that’s all good. Got out a press release and am waiting for comments on it — if it doesn’t go out in the next day or two, there’s no point in sending it; it won’t print in time.

Speaking of press releases, here is the link to the release about the Author Services expansion with Fearless Ink.

There’s still time to sign up for next Saturday’s Query Clinic — bring in your query letters and get line-by-line support. Information here.

Most of the weekend was spent on the new book, and putting together the materials I promised my agent, that I want to get to her today or tomorrow (because there was no way I was going to send them during a Mercury Retrograde). The introduction, the thumbnails of the first five books in the series, marketing plan, and competition list — all of those are solid. I’m still not happy with the synopsis, and that’s what I’m wrestling with.

I managed to get out of the creative rut I was in — the pressures of chasing down payments soooo late, while trying to land work and rehearse the play and promote the book just released and juggle this project — I was feeling creatively drained. But, by having this project as my central focus, and doing a lot of pacing and muttering, I broke through, and I think I’ll be okay.

I also read several of the books for the contest I’m judging; some good, some weak.

Some idiot contacted me to “hire” me to write articles — at $1.50 per article. Yup, one dollar and fifty cents for an 800-word article, that would appear under the hirer’s name. My response was neither diplomatic nor polite.

So, it’s getting back to it this morning, and getting out some difficult correspondence, along with getting out the proposal, continuing to track down payments, some of which are now nearly a month late, pitching to potential new clients, working with students, preparing for rehearsal, running errands . . .you get the picture.

And, we’re supposed to have another snowstorm overnight — up to a foot of snow in some places!

Devon

Thurs. March 14, 2013: Running on Empty

Thursday, March 14, 2013
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

I wasn’t feeling well, so yesterday wasn’t as productive as I hoped. I got some pitches out, worked on the synopsis for the new book for my agent, did some marketing, etc. I had a meeting about dealing with the trespasser — and he’s either being more careful or has backed off for the past two days. Got the batteries changed in the thermostat – -who knew it needed batteries?

Finished material for Confidential Job #1, and will write it up this morning and turn in the invoice — although the check hasn’t arrived from the last batch of work, which is unusual, and they’re “checking on it”. This client is very good about paying on time, so this is weird.

Watched the coverage of the new Pope. As someone who is not Catholic, the tradition, pageantry, and theatre of it all are fascinating.

Read a page-turner — THE ELDRITCH CONSPIRACY, by Cat Adams. I liked it a lot, and look forward to the other books in the series. I needed a break from reading what I HAVE to read, and read something I WANT to read.

As far as my own creative work, I feel drained and flat. I have to get past it, because I have deadlines, but the tank is empty. Still, I show up every day and push through, because that’s how it gets done, and sometimes the work that comes through on the hard days is what triggers a better flow.

The cats are being very clingy lately. I don’t know if it’s because they sense how much pressure and stress I’m under, or if something else is going on. I was so exhausted yesterday that I was shaking, so I made sure, after the meeting, I had a quiet afternoon and evening.

Today is meetings, back-to-back, all over the darned place, so off I go.

Devon

You can still sign up for March 23rd’s Query Clinic and get line-by-line support on multiple query letters.

Check out the new Author Services offered by Fearless Ink!

Mon. March 11, 2013: New Moon Birthday!

Monday, March 11, 2013
New Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and mild

I have now outlived my father. He never made it to the age I turn today.

Yup, it’s my birthday. I’m keeping it low-key and quiet — I need some rest. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still work to do — the next chapter on the new book, working with students, preparing for tomorrow night’s rehearsal. But I’m trying to keep it mellow and pleasant.

Weekend was busy. I’m reading the books for one of the contests I’m judging — wide range of topics and quality, which makes it interesting. I’m back in the groove on the new book, and pretty happy with it, and got an important research book for it that the Sandwich Library tracked down for me. I’ve been devouring that book, too, and already seeing where I need to make adjustments in past chapters.

I agreed to teach a two-part workshop the final two weeks of March on adapting a short story to the stage, and a short play into a short story. One can choose to take one or both sections, but there is an application process — no lurkers are allowed, and anyone who does not complete the daily assignment for ANY reason will be dropped without a refund. The application process closes on March 13 — this Wednesday — and the class runs from the 18-31 (with no class on either Palm Sunday or Easter), so get in your applications! Instructions for the application are here.

Don’t forget the Query Clinic on Sat. March 23, where you can bring in query letters for line-by-line critique and strengthening, and also learn how to make the process of writing future queries easier. Information here.

Yesterday’s rehearsal was good, although filled with Mercury Retrograde-type mishaps. I’m very happy with the cast, though. It may have been a rocky road to find them, but they are each and every one of them worth it!

I need to contact some more client prospects today, but I’m hoping for a light day online — and that some of these late checks that are supposedly “in the mail” — and have been for nearly a month now — actually show up. Wouldn’t that be a nice treat for my birthday?

Back to the page.

Devon

OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK, the second Jain Lazarus Adventure is now available. Excerpt and Buy Link here.

Thurs. March 7, 2013: Working at Top Speed

Thursday, March 7, 2013
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Nor’easter

Yesterday was flat out work. Sold an article I wrote and submitted last week — will let you know when it goes up. It’s with someone whose work I respect a lot, and with whom I’ve wanted to place something for awhile, so I was very excited.

Finished my new brochure. I’m happy with it. I’m going to put a PDF of it up on my Fearless Ink website.

Got some of the ebooks for one contest; the others from the other contest have been delayed. The print books were supposed to arrive yesterday, but haven’t yet. We’ll see how late they are and how it will affect the deadline.

Worked with students.

Had my meeting with the Director of Creative Economy for the state — it was a lot of fun. The packet of information given out was terrific. She loved the brochure, had some good ideas about the portfolio, and gave me some people to contact — suggesting I use her name, which I will do today. I also met some other people connected with economic growth in the area, and had some excellent conversations with them.

Today is about follow-up.

When I got home, the rest of the materials I need to do my part to speed up the delayed release were here, so I sat down and turned them around.

After that, I just had time to bolt down dinner before the actors showed up for rehearsal. We had a really good rehearsal, in spite of the power flickers, and a few 30-second-or-so outages (we had candles going and flashlights at the ready).

Then, I unwound a bit, and read some material for confidential job #1, and collapsed into bed. My neck was killing me from holding at a stupid angle while I worked on the stuff for the book.

Missed yoga this morning,although the weather’s so bad, I’m glad not to be out in it. Must get back to the piece I’m doing for my agent, and do the follow-up from yesterday’s meeting. I hope it lands me some interesting new clients!

Devon

Hate writing query letters? Join the Query Clinic online on March 23, and get line-by-line support on your queries, along with tips and techniques on how to make future query writing less painful! Information here.

Monday, March 4, 2013: Release Day for the Second Jain Lazarus Adventure!

Old-FashionedDetectiveWork_HiRes

Monday, March 4, 2013
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and mild

Lots to discuss today!

First and foremost, OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK releases today! Woo-hoo! I’m still waiting for the Buy Link from Solstice, but there’s a great interview with me on Cynthia Woolf’s blog, and there’s an excerpt and more information on Billy Root’s blog. Stop by one or both and say hey!

“Prolonged Engagement: Developing the Series” workshop runs this week and should be lots of fun. I’m very excited about it.

AND, I’m teaching a one-day QUERY CLINIC on March 23, where you can bring in query letters from your various projects and we shape them, line-by-line, along with learning how to assemble the parts of a strong letter. More info here.

Busy weekend. On Friday, just before 5 PM, I got some great news from my agent! She’s very excited about a project I pitched her a few weeks ago, made some suggestions, and wants to go forward asap. That puts pressure on me I wasn’t expecting until the fall, at least as far adding an extra project to the mix, and means I have to reshuffle back some of the projects I was working on. My GDRS for March have to be re-worked. But I’m very excited!

Friday night was the staged reading of my new play, SEVEN OF SWORDS, which is not a comedy! I was on the bill with three other short plays, so we were a solid evening — what fun to share the bill with them. I liked my director a lot, and thoroughly enjoyed the work of all the actors, including the ones in my piece. I got some interesting feedback to shape the piece in the next draft. It was a good night, but I was exhausted.

I was up early-early on Saturday morning. I worked on some revisions for MUDER “SEALS” THE DEAL, then I rewrote the first three chapters of the piece per my agent’s suggestions and wrote Chapter Four, which came in just over 3K. I worked with students, and did the final polish on the lectures for the workshop.

Busy day, but fulfilling.

Sunday, I was up early, putting in and printing out the revisions in the script. Then, I packed the car and headed off to the Marine Life Center for rehearsal — we blocked Acts II & III, then went over to the venue to look at the space and a drink and chat. It was fun.

Today is release day for OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK, so I have to do the work associated with that. I have to write Chapter 5 of the other project, attend a funeral, and give the actors the cuts I made last night in the script when I got home.

Oh, and do some work that pays the bills! 😉

Busy, busy!

Devon